TIME
By Diane Tsai and Arpita Aneja
October 13, 2015
TIME Health
For more, visit TIME Health.

Before she became a mom, Leemor Rhodes had no particular interest in the nuances of bedroom lighting. But once she got pregnant, it was a different story. “The internet becomes your best friend and your worst enemy,” Rhodes said. “I found some very interesting research with lighting.”

After the birth of her son Adi in June, Rhodes first tried a generic red lightbulb based on a friend’s recommendation, which she says caused her to be disoriented and “camouflaged the poop.” She then switched to an app-controlled LED smart bulb, but she found that product difficult to adjust at times. Finally, a publicist friend who works with Lighting Science Corporation gave her one of the company’s many lighting products: the Sleep Baby LED light bulb.

As a sleep-deprived new mother, she was willing to try anything, Rhodes said. Though skeptical at first about the nondescript yellow light bulb, she soon saw results when she turned it on for nighttime feedings and diaper changes.

“It soothes him, it creates a very calm environment — it’s very easy to put the baby back down,” she said.

Sleepy Baby is just one of many light bulbs available that are marketed toward helping babies (and their parents) sleep better at night. Thanks to advances in digitizing light, companies like Lighting Science Corporation are able to create light bulbs that do not emit the blue wavelengths of the light spectrum which cause our brains to be more alert.

For Lighting Science founder Fred Maxik, implementing bulbs like the Sleepy Baby in our homes to improve sleep quality is just the beginning of understanding the intersection of light and biology.

“At the end of the day, we’re trying to invent a new future for ourselves,” said Maxik. “And we can utilize light in a way we’ve never expected.”

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